Prolific Hip Hop Producer Chucky Thompson Dies at 53: 'The World Has Lost a Titan'
Chucky Thompson, the hip hop and R&B record producer best known for his work as a part of Bad Boy Records' "Hitmen" production team, has died. He was 53.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I can confirm the passing of Chucky Thompson," his publicist, Tamar Juda, said in a statement provided to PEOPLE on Monday.
"To anyone in his orbit, you know how generous he was with his energy, creativity and love," the statement read. "Both the music industry, and the world has lost a titan."
Thompson's protégé, Young Guru, also confirmed the death on his Instagram, writing, "There is nothing I can write that will take away this pain. I have to say RIP to my mentor, my big brother, the man who changed my life forever."
"You were the kindest person the world has ever seen. You were the most gifted musician I have ever been around. You treated me like family from day one," he wrote in a tribute to Thompson. "You made a point to the labels that I had to fly to New York with you on every session. You put me in rooms with Biggie. I will forever be in your debt and I will forever be your little brother. This one hurts so bad I can't even explain it. RIP @chucklife365 there will never be another you!!!!"
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Born Carl E. Thompson, the producer was an original member of Sean "Diddy" Combs' in-house production team at Bad Boy Records.
Thompson first connected with Combs in the early 1990s when a friend introduced him to a cousin who was working with the rapper. At the time, Combs had been fired from Uptown Records and was looking to start his own label.
"I ended up sending music to Puff right around the time he got fired from Uptown," he recalled in a 2011 interview with You Know I Got Soul. "We sent a CD to Puff; he heard the music and immediately got in touch with me. That's how that got started. So that was my in, and that's how it got started."
Originally a musician from Washington, D.C., Thompson's ability to play different instruments allowed him to effortlessly collaborate with others — including fellow producers Easy Mo Bee and Rashad Smith.
Thompson's first project with Bad Boy Records' production team, Mary J. Blige's 1994 album My Life, ultimately earned him his first Grammy nomination.
The year 1994 also saw the release of The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut LP Ready to Die, another album Thompson produced alongside the Hitmen team.
Under Bad Boy Records, Thompson went on to work his magic on hits like Total's "No One Else" and Faith Evans' "You Used to Love Me."
During his career, he also produced songs hits for Usher, TLC, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Ice Cube, New Edition and Juvenile.
One of his recent tracks? A remix of Real Housewives of Potomac star Candiace Dillard Bassett's song, "I See You."
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In the wake of his death, many artists and producers from the music scene have taken to social media to pay tribute.
"Damn! 💔💔 🕊🕊 Big brother Moe!" Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, fellow Hitmen team member, wrote on his Instagram. "Sad beyond words. And that smile. Ughhh!! Your heart was bigger than life. Rest well my friend."
"I studied this man and i was eventually blessed to work with this man! A hometown hero and a legend to all who really do this!" R&B singer Tank shared. "I thank God for your time here and pray to have your kind of impact on the universe 💙."